Customizing LIbreOffice 4.x for Windows Deployment

After LibreOffice 3.5, there are a lot of additional customizations in the MSI installer[1].

What you Can Customize from the MSI

We run a mix of MS Office and LibreOffice for the TS/RDS servers, so the interop format is legacy Microsoft formats (doc, xls, etc) rather than ODF (which can work in MS products but is a bit of a cultural adjustment).

The following parameters sets the file associations and disables auto updating.

You can find most of the common MSI table settings:

Setting Default Save As (not possible via MSI)

We also needed to stage the install so users (by default) would save files as the MS formats rather than ODF — not just the file associations.

Unfortunately, this is not possible through the MSI and there appear to be no properties while viewing the MSI tables in Orca that seem relevant.

Essentially, under LIBREOFFICEINSTALLDIR\share\registry you will find *.xcd files which contain many XML files for basic settings — including the default save as format for each program.

Each application hill have its own file in the directory to which we will change the element as follows:

Here are some of the default values and the values we’ll be changing them to.

  • calc.xcd : calc8 -> MS Excel 97
  • impress.xcd : impress8 -> MS Powerpoint 97
  • writer.xcd : writer8 -> MS Word 97

You can actually do this change via an administrative install ahead of time rather than having to make modifications via a user script afterwards.

Automating via Powershell. – Stage-LibreOffice.ps1

The following script can be pointed at a libreoffice MSI. It will create an administrative install and make the modifications to the “registry” XML files and drop in an INSTALL-LIBRE.bat which has pre-set parameters. Make sure the INSTALL-LIBRE.bat template is in the same directory as the script.


an example INSTALL-LIBRE.bat

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